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Former Miami-Dade commission chairman to formally challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia


Joe Martinez, the former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, plans to officially launch his campaign for U.S. Congress this week.

Martinez said in February that he intended to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat whose district spans Kendall to Key West. Martinez represented Kendall for 12 years as a county commissioner. He ran unsuccessfully for Miami-Dade mayor last year against Carlos Gimenez.

"I am looking forward to officially launching this campaign to bring back the core American Values of hard work and perseverance," Martinez said in a news release Tuesday.

"My knowledge and experience of local government give me a much needed perspective that can ensure our local economy receives adequate attention for projects like the Port of Miami expansion or protecting the natural beauty of the Florida Keys."

Three other Republicans, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall and Jose Felix Peixoto of Key Largo, have also said they are seeking the seat. 

Martinez has scheduled his campaign launch for Thursday at a West Kendall senior center named after his mother.